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TOP  >  What is Shinto?  >  3-b. Rites of Passages:
  Minzoku Shinto (Folk Shinto)

B. Rites of Passages:

1) Rites of passages begin with Hatsumiya-Mode.

It is the first visit of a new born baby to a shrine. Visiting Ubusuna shrine (a local tutelary shrine) together with a fully dressed whole family, the baby is recognized by the local deity as a new member of the community.

2) Next comes a festival called Shichi-Go-San.

Boys at their fifth year, and girls at the third and the seventh year, visit a shrine in order to report their healthy growth and to receive divine blessings.

 3) The Coming-of-Age festival.

The youth reached 20 years old are nowadays celebrated officially by public institutions such as a local government office. However, after such a non-religious ceremony, many of them visit a shrine to receive divine blessings.

 4) Marriage ceremony was originally a rite of passage.

It was a tradition that a family reports a marriage to the ancestors in front of the household Shinto altar or the Buddha altar, and then introduce the newly-wed couple to their community as new members, inviting relatives and neighbours to a banquet held at the household. Since the Meiji era (1868-1912), however, it has become a new custom to hold a marriage ceremony at a shrine. In these days, there are people who have it in a Buddhist temple or a Christian church. There are some, though not many, who have a civil marriage.

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